Adriatic Adventure 2019
18 - 29 September 2019
The Adriatic Adventure Rally 2019
18 - 29 September 2019
Following on from the success of the much appreciated Baltic Classic 2017 event, the ERA team has been hard at work devising an equally exciting ‘sister’ event for competitors seeking a fresh, new challenge to get their teeth into. As such, September 2019 will see the first running of the ERA Adriatic Adventure.
Taking place over 12 days and open to cars built before 1976, the Adriatic Adventure promises to be a rally of two halves; from the mountains of the inland Balkans to the dazzling brilliance of the Adriatic coastline.
Suitable for experienced crews and newcomers alike, this brand new event will mirror the Baltic Classic in terms of style and take competitors into countries that offer relatively unexplored territory for rallying.
The event starts and finishes in the vibrant port city of Trieste in north-eastern Italy which provides a perfect start and finish for our event. Almost before we have left the city, we follow the route of the famous Trieste – Opicina hillclimb. First held in 1911, the event was the scene of one of Scuderia Ferrari’s first victories with the legendary Tazio Nuvolari driving an Alfa Romeo for the Italian team.
Once away from the coast, we quickly cross into Slovenia and head north towards the Alpine foothills and passes that used to be notoriously challenging for competitors on the Liege-Sofia-Liege Rally in the 1960s.
Slovenia’s mountain roads were much admired on the 2016 Peking – Paris Rally and so, to ensure we make the most of them, we’ll be staying overnight in the very welcoming capital city, Ljubljana, before heading north-east and up into the mountains again to Maribor. Maribor is Slovenia’s wine-loving second city and is home to the world’s oldest grapevine! Cheers!
From Maribor, we motor south almost entirely on quiet, country roads through rolling hills with several regularity sections and a Test on the menu, and then hop over the border into beautiful Croatia and an early arrival into its capital city, Zagreb.
Day four serves up action straight from the off with a run up the Sljeme hill climb on the city’s outskirts. We then head south alongside the Sava River to cross into Bosnia and Herzegovina then on to our overnight stop in the country's largest Spa Hotel. Surrounded by mountains, forests and the Usora river valley, this wellness complex is famous for its healing waters.
With our heart rates and pulses restored to normal, we head south east on more remote and deserted roads to Sarajevo which has risen from near extinction in the 1990s as a result of the Bosnian War. While the scars of conflict still remain, Sarajevo is now, some 21 years later, a city rebuilt and re-established as the leading cultural hub of the Balkans. An afternoon visit to the Old Town is recommended.
From Sarajevo, we drive further south into Montenegro and experience the stunning Piv Canyon and Durmitor National Park before meeting the glittering Adriatic coastline at Budva. We stop here overnight at the event's most southerly point.
After a morning off to explore the historic centres of Budva and Kotor, we divert inland for the afternoon's competition then return to the coast for the run north into Croatia and Dubrovnik. We have a well-earned rest day to take in all that this utterly enchanting old city can throw at us. Game of Thrones fans will recognise many of Dubrovnik’s landmarks and there are tours to be had if you fancy channelling your inner Lannister…
Fully rested, we leave the coastline to the tourists and cross back into Bosnia and Herzegovina for an extended lunch by the old bridge in Mostar, before returning to Croatia and one of the best regularities of the event on a rugged mountain road littered with hairpin bends. Then it’s back to the coast and on to busy and bustling Split. This is Croatia’s second largest city and was put on the map by the Romans who built Diocletian’s Palace for their Emperor at the turn of the 4th Century AD - it still stands today and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
From Split we have fewer hills but great driving as we take a circuitous route to our resort hotel outside of Zadar. This evening will be one for cocktails by the pool as we enjoy the splendour that Alfred Hitchcock declared to be "...the most beautiful sunset in the world!"
From Zadar, we keep the Adriatic on our left as we repeatedly head inland to find incredible empty roads before returning to the coast for some refreshment. We motor north for the day to Opatija, the favourite seaside town of the great and good during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city streets were home to the Adriatic Grand Prix in the 1930s and racing continued on the streets until the mid-1970s. On the way we hope to take in a Special Test at an excellent facility.
After a night’s rest in Opatija, we head off again in the morning for the final day of our Adriatic Adventure. On the way to the Italian border we pass close to Motovun, Croatia’s truffle capital and birthplace of the American World Champion Formula One driver, Mario Andretti.
From there it’s a short hop to Trieste where a warm welcome and a sumptuous Gala Dinner await us.
All in all, we think you’ll agree that the ERA Adriatic Adventure is set to become a firm favourite. Entries are limited to 70 cars so make sure you clear your diary for September 2019.
Subject to change following reconnaissance.
Tell Me More
To find out more please call Annette, Eleonora or any of the Rally Office team or email us for your copy of the event brochure and entry form. We'll be happy to answer your questions and offer any guidance you may need.
Phone: +44 (0)1235 831221